Monday, August 31, 2009
POWERLite and PROPULSION PLUS = REDUCED WEIGHT, DURABILTY & COMFORT
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SLC-UTAH
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
After trekking the planet with three different pairs of kickers, we returned to Stateside’ trails only to have the trusty trio all fade away in the same week.
Our second home at that time, the Arlington V.A. REI, stocked scores of brands…but it was the Asolo that got the nod.
So we were curious to see if we needed an upgrade to our now well-worn pair of ASOLO, made by a fourth generation family owned Italian biz that’s toasting its 10th USA anniversary.
Well we do…cause there is a bunch of “new Asolo stuff’ that significantly raises the bar of what hiking boots should be.
At OR, we learned the mission: “Asolo started at the mountain (Alpine))… trickled down to Hiking…and addressed the desire to lighten up…”
POWERLite is the moniker attached to the souped up, feather weight hiking boots (set to deliver January).
Without sacrificing durability or fit, the shoes that used to have one density for support, now have a “…dual density frame system that is co-molded to form a unified heel and toe counter (think Asoframe- a patented technology)--- and is over 50% lighter than other light hiking products…”
A softer up front toe for flex, an EVA mid sole for shock absorption, and a unique bi-density Penbax heel reinforcement with rubber lugs , and a rubber outsole that grips, (with contact points like soccer cleats)---- delivers “19%” weights savings over comparable models,
Sixteen bumped up styles are set to launch…including a pair aimed at backpackers with polyurethane midsoles.
And the pairs we saw, are very colorful…as in “one to show, and one to go.”
Among the women’s models we seriously drooled over…are the Advance GTX ($230), and the Ergo – punched up with Gore-Tex®($250).
Propulsion Plus is a line of “Access” peds aimed at trail runners and multi-sports types. We’ve noticed-this year-that even casual joggers are opting for these types of shoes, feeling that their better constructed/more durable than the average super lightweight running shoe. And better on hard surfaces too.
We can see why this category of kickers is growing. Asolo delivers an incredibly supportive, shock absorbing shoe for “stump-stompers’ with a “chassis built of 3 different materials (EVA, dual density TPU, and rubber) across 5 different components ---midsole, stabilizer, heel support, and 2-piece outsole.. Styles such as “Exum ($120)” are light weight, “ super supportive,”---- with a precise fit, stability and under-foot protection.”
ADDED PLUS: Breathable, quick drying synthetic uppers
Deliveries are scheduled for March.
For More Info, Store Locator and Online Retailers: ASOLO
HERO Men's Red/Dark Grey
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Cool Casual Comfort With Eco Components
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SLC-UTAH
It wasn’t until after our chat with the Rafters/Bogs reps at OR, that we realized how we’d just been granted insider status, feet-wise.
Because = walking around afterwards= with our new Rafters flip-flops, a basic black pair with snazzy patterned webbing …we earned “Oh cool, Rafters” comments. And then while hanging around the SLC airport prior to our flight…we noticed a handful of OR attendees wearing Rafters…
RAFTERS sandals and shoes are all about quality, comfort and fit at great price points. There’s an internal midwedge for stability (water shoes), sculpted footbeds for arch support, drainage holes and non-slip rubber “channeled” outsoles (in two tones for the flip flops!) that “direct water away” so one can grip slippery surfaces.
ECO BONUS POINTS: The colorful upper webbing is made from recycled PET (plastic water/soda bottles), the outsoles are made from 25% recycled rubber, the breathable lining is made from 60% bamboo fiber, and the mid wedges and outsoles “are infused with jute plant fiber and cork.”
INFO: RAFTERS FOOTWEAR
A related company, BOGS FOOTWEAR is a classic. Hailing from moisture laden Oregon, this company's DNA tricked out dairy farmers and ranchers with its thick (up to 7 millimeter) neoprene topped boot with easy pull on handles and a seamless four way stretch.
Genius Feature: The “Moisture Transfer Technology”…with “ perforated holes that’s backed with waterproof, breathable membrane…plus an internal OrthoLite® moisture wicking, anti-fungal lining. So Bogs protects and keep feet warm (seriously, to -20 to-40 F)... and comfy without the stinky, sweating yuch.
Now, Bogs is expanding its selections for the outdoors market with bumped up patterns, styles and colors. The City Slickers and Classics have mid calf, to the knee, and shoe options –like a Mary Jane flat for gals. Prices range from about $68.95 up to $143.95 for the mid height City Walk styles with leather uppers.
INFO: BOGS FOOTWEAR
Friday, August 28, 2009
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, NY
We went to the Custo Barcelona runway show in Berlin, back in July. (REVIEW).
We loved the colorful and accessibly priced collection back then…but cannot wait to see the New Collection being shown in the big Tent at Bryant Park.
After all, this is New York...
For sure---- it will be colorful, sexy and modern. AND A FUN SHOW!!!!
“SENETEK, ORIGINAL DEVELOPER OF KINETIN, INTRODUCES THE NEXT GENERATION OF CYTOKININ-BASED TECHNOLOGY FOR THERAPEUTIC SKIN CARE”
WORDS Judith Ecochard
IMAGES Courtesy of PYRATINE XR™
New York, NY: August 26, 2009
It was a hot, hot day when a gaggle of us went to the Meadowlands Stadium in NJ- for a major soccer match. The sold out game’s swarms of humans, the heat and humidity, and the abstract concept of crowd control didn’t phase us, but our gal pal looked positively ill, with a red flushed/blotchy face that had us thinking she wasn't going to make it.
But even seated in the shade and hydrated, she still looked weirdly “red” to us…with yech inflamed patches across the bridge of her nose sprawling out onto her cheeks.
And that’s characteristic of Rosacea.
Apparently, there are 14 million sufferers of Rosacea, a skin condition (with no known cure) that manifests itself via lesions (papules and pustules that resemble white heads/acne), redness (erythema), spider veins, dryness, and dark spots (or any combo thereof).
At its extreme, we think of WC Fields, though even mild cases are frankly, unattractive, let alone scream AGING.
We were very excited to discover- in our inbox no less---- a new treatment for mild to moderate cases of Rosacea that lessen the aforementioned undesirable skin conditions: PYRATINE XR™
Scientifically tested in an initial 12- week clinical study- with published results (Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, a prestigious peer reviewed read- May 2009)…PYRATINE XR™ (lotion or cream)- measurably improved skin conditions in 80% of test subjects.
PYRATINE XR™ is the product name for a second-generation cytokinin based treatment product. (Cytokinins are plant derived growth factors that encourage cell division and retard the aging process).
For us it was good to know that PYRATINE XR™ is one of several products from Senetek PLC, the makers of the best selling Kinerase® === bevy of products. (The poreless Courtney Cox is the spokesperson).
As far as skin rejuvenation goes, everyone is vying for that fountain of youth…and there is a staggering number of products on the market that can (somewhat) effectively deal with the signs of aging.
What we liked about PYRATINE XR™ is that first off, it’s non-irritating like some retinoids (Renova, Retin-A). Also the lotion or cream can be used for a loooonnnnggg time unlike other rosacea treatments, i.e. Metrogel…
And it’s a multi-functional solution…unlike targeted treatments no one has the time to apply. In fact, there was a 48 week follow-up study that “…showed significant decrease in the appearance of papules and pustules associated with inflammatory skin conditions such as Rosacea, as well as a significant decrease in the appearance of redness,” according to Dr. Mark S, Nesto, a Board Certified Dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon and laser surgeon practicing in Aventura, Florida.
“We see improvement in the appearance of fine lines and brown spots, and other aspects of sun damage and aging of the skin.”
AND FYI: We tried it under our eyes…so we can vouch for the non-irritation…cause we have a teeny brown spot that is so not a beauty mark.
Price wise, a $120 tube …both the cream and the lotion are packaged similarly…should last two months if applied over the entire face, twice a day.
AVAILABILITY: Select Physicians in North America. Call 1 888-467-9728 or visit PYRATINE XR™
Before and after (12 weeks later of application) Images
Thursday, August 27, 2009
NEW DESIGNER DEBUTS AT MERCEDES BENZ NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
Central St. Martins alum, Molly Grad, is a seasoned designer...most recently at Gianfranco Ferre. We look forward to seeing her latest efforts...a collection of swimsuits for GOTTEX.
" Gottex has an amazing heritage," Grad observed. " I am going to take the DNA of the brand and give it a fresh direction with out foresaking its incredible past. ”
Should be terrific.
Words, Judith Ecochard
Images from website and J. Ecochard
OUTDOOR RETAILER, SLC-UTAH S/S 2010
We didn’t have much time at the Five Ten® but what we cruised through, we really liked.
CLAIM TO FAME: The Climbing Shoes…Five Ten® has many “Vertical Meters” selections designed by climbing legends like Fred Nicole and Dave Graham. Different rocks and MOs of climbing/bouldering require different shoes…and Five Ten’s® proprietary technology (like the ground-breaking Prehensile™) gets a grip like no other.
New for S/S 2010 is the men’s Team 5.10® ($144.95) with ultra thin Mystique™ for bouldering and sport climbing…
(the Women’s Daescent shares the same thin toe plus mesh breathability). The dual Velcro closured Rogue, a value priced ped that works indoor on walls and outdoors on rocks=== also debuts.
"Vertical Mileage" shoes go the distance and the new Grandstone , a high top traditional shoe, has leather uppers for support, and a supportive midsole and durable Stealth® C4™ rubber .
What really grabbed us, no sticky rubber required- are the eye catching free riding (skate board, mountain biking), free running, and versatile outdoor action (category busting out)shoes.
The Freerider has the Stealth® rubber outsoles and is for skate boarders who ride anything.(Pictured above and below)
For gals, the new Karver is the tough flat metal mountain biking shoe with mid height ankle support and Stealth® S1™ outsoles that keep feet to the pedal.
The Sam Hill does likewise for guys….and is named for the World Champion.
For running the trails or the concrete women have the Freerunner that performs with comfort and the new Camp Four that sports a molded PU external heel cage that supports/stabilizes from heel to toe.
Another multisport winner is the new Insight with breathable uppers, co-molded Stealth® rubber outsole for maximum traction.
And fashion forward women will love the Test Pilot---a lifestyle kicker that can fill in for jaunts in urban jungles.
NEW YOSEMITE DENIM:
Five Ten® has tees ($24.95)
and tanks…but the athletic denim is spot on trend wise...as everyone wears jeans. With 1% spandex for a give to bust moves- the rest is cotton-these pants are ideal for active types. Cool looking Yosemite Half Dome stitching on back pockets are inspired by Five Ten®’s climbing roots. ($79)
INFO: FIVE TEN
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We had a Deborah Harry/BLONDIE flashback with the new Fall 2009 ad campaign for the hip Spanish retail-powerhouse MANGO.
Succeeding Penelope Cruz, the very blond American actress looks sultry sexy in the major trends for the season- like skinny jeans, motorcross jacket (done REALLY well-- in a great patterned fabric), animal prints, sky high heels with grommet embellishments, and a versatile cozy over sized wool cardigan. And the it color GRAY flatters a lot of skin tones, unlike black.
We're assuming the shredded hosiery is pictured for effect===for those that didn't rock that look back in the eighties.
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY FOR ELITE ATHLETES AND WEEKEND WARRIORS
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SLC-UTAH
Words, Judith Ecochard
Images from the website and J. Ecochard
Compression garments have been gaining big time-in popularity as the buzz about the benefits blasts the media and filters out.
WHAT IT IS: Think what an ACE (All Cotton Elastic) bandage did when we sprained our ankles as kids. Since then the mash-up of medical types, athletic wear companies and the birth of Lycra Power® has yielded a host of performance labels that offer tops, tights, shorts, sleeves, calf guards, and socks under the compression umbrella.
The basic premise is that carefully ‘engineered’ garments graduated in fit (tighter at the extremities-like at the wrists of a long sleeve top- to aid blood flow back to the heart) improves performance, aids recovery, and reduces fatigue.
This company was new to us…but then we went on 2XU’s website…and went WHOA…
As this entity manufactures a wide range of garments/separates for assorted athletic adventures including running, triathlons (our new thing), biking (extra padding where needed)…
… and a sleek, hot, hot, hot engineered swimsuit that made a splash at OR -the 2XU X: 1 Wetsuit built for open water swimming (aids buoyancy/propulsion for non-believers)- that’s a 5 millimeter suit with a 40 cell neoprene X flex panel in the front (efficiency plus), —with internal air cells for flexibility... and a metallic alloy coating on the inner lining- for warmth and to get the blood flowing.
The 2XU Compression garments offered include the popular Calf Guards that every soccer player seems to wear these days…and Race- as well as Recovery- to the knee socks that we wish we had when running the marathons. And def. afterwards as our legs were vibrating and 2XU’s socks ‘minimize’ this common muscle problem.
At the show, we got to review the thermal line too-for cooler temps.
Added Plus: The line of long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless tops, tights, and shorts are gender specific.
We got schooled on 2XUs special features…
-“…a circular knit structure for a 360 degree stretch”
-Thicker yarns (50 denier as standard and 50/70 denier combo in elite styles = durability
-“Therapeutic rated fabric delivers greater compression priming the cardiovascular system for a faster removal of blood lactate and a reduction in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness.”
-Primo Invista Lycra® enhances elasticity, stability, and life of garment for superior performance vs. other brands.
We seen real jocks/jockettes as well as gym bunnies donning compression wear…and we realize that our action wear is ready for a major bump up…
Because, we can use every edge we can get when doing all the athletic/adventure stuff we do…and the garments, frankly are quite sexy on.
DIGRESSION: In an Oeko-Tex sponsored seminar we attended, titled INSIGHT ON WHAT’S NEXT FROM DESIGN TO DOLLARS-HOW THE RIGHT TEXTILES DRIVE RETAIL APPAREL SALES…
…speaker Brad Poorman, CEO of Cocona™ (an eco natural fiber made from coconut shells)…wisely observed, “Garments are not designed but engineered.”
“It’s a piece of equipment,” he added.
POPULAR FLAG BACKPACKS GROW GLOBALLY
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SLC-UTAH
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
JANSPORTs’ backpacks may have “been tailored to outdoor geeks,” ---- but has morphed into one of those GIANT brands of haulers that cover a wide range of ‘carrying’ needs.
Seemingly every other person we see on the subways or on the mountains during day hikes, is sporting a Jansport something…whether the technical kind or the more fashion forward packs.
New for Spring 2010, the company is smartly, expanding its reach with a new Career Collection…aimed at college and biz types who need a well tricked out, padded bag that’ll carry electronics and stuff----easy and organized.
We loved the magnetic closures
... and ergo backs that are curved just so to fit human backs. And a back zipper on the internal padded laptop sleeve reveals this staple of our lives with a quick unzip--- that makes cruising through the airports less of a chore.
Several sizes are available---up to styles cradling 17-inch laptops. We loved the Hooky Bag…with plenty of outer pockets.
WHAT’S HOT: The Flag Backpacks are selling well. Just in time for the World Cup, that massive soccer/football match set for play in South Africa…are new country additions of Brazil and Mexico. We recently went to a USA vs. Mexico soccer match…a sellout, naturally…and know for sure that patriots will grab these day haulers as soon as they hit the retail shelves.
BONUS: Jansport plays a major sponsorship role of Big City Mountaineers, headed up by the congenial Syd Jones…who we met at the annual Shake N’ Bake. On the job for all of two days, Jones, the new Executive Director -hails from 8 blocks from where we live in NYC! Outdoor skills acquired through Boy Scouting serves him well as the transplanted to Denver, Big Apple native is now the leading light for this nationwide 501c (3) that takes inner city kids ---some of whom have been no where ever…out into the boonies for multi-day backpacking (and team building) jaunts. Or “Guiding Urban Teens Outdoors.”